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Summary. This story is meant to illustrate the bliss of Turya.


On being questioned by Rāma as to what the wondrous traits are in those Jīvanmuktas who have worshipped the eternal Brahman through their great wisdom (but without the psychical powers of Aṇiman, etc.) Vasiṣṭha said: “The in comparable intelligence of a Jñāni will ever find wonders (or delight) in the non-dual Ātma. With stainlessness, fullness and quiescence, the Jīvanmukta will be in Ātma only. What wonder is there in walking in the skies and other psychical powers developed out of Mantras, Tapas and other means? Aṇiman and other powers accrue only to those persons who expand their minds gradually in this world with intense efforts. But Ātma-jñānis long not for these Siddhis. There is one thing peculiar to them. They have not the minds of the base. Their minds are immaculate, being free from desires. Without the characteristics of caste and orders of life and through the freedom from the trammels of the delusion of the longstanding births and deaths, they will be the enjoyers of partless bliss. Besides, desires, anger, pains, greed, accidents, etc., full of Vāsanās, will daily dwindle into nothing.”


Vasiṣṭha continued: “Like a Brahmin who after giving up his noble status, degrades himself into a low person, Īśa (the Lord) degrades himself into a Jīva. The myriads of Jīvas will, at every creation, shine beyond number. Through the flutter of that causal ideation, the Jīvic Īśvaras will be generated in every stage (of evolution). But the cause is not here (in this world). The Jīvas that arise from Īśvara and flourish thereby, subject themselves to repeated rebirths through the Karmas performed by them. This, Rāma, is the relationship of cause and effect, (though there is no cause for the rise of Jīvas), yet existence and Karmas, are reciprocally the cause of one another. All the Jīvas arise, without cause, out of the Brahmic state; yet, after their rise, their Karmas are the cause of their pleasures and pains. And Saṁkalpa arising from the delusion of the ignorance of Ātma is the cause of all Karmas.


As thus the cause of bondage is Saṁkalpa, you should root it away from you as completely as possible. The destruction of this primeval (cause) Saṁkalpa is itself Mokṣa. This destruction of Saṁkalpa should be intelligently practiced. Where there exists the conception of the objects and the enjoyer of the same, thou shouldst, my son, gradually and at all times destroy this Saṁkalpa without losing sight of the same. Do not become of the form of objects or the knower, enjoying the same. Having destroyed all the slighted Saṁkalpas, mayest thou become That which remains. When the five organs get involved in objects (along with the mind), the desires engendered therein constitute bondage; but the non-attraction towards them is Mokṣa. If thou art even in the least tinged with the desires of objects, then it will involve thee in the meshes of existence. Oh beautiful Rāma, if thou are not pleased with objects, then thou wilt be free from existence. Do not in the least bestow any desires upon the hosts of objects, movable and fixed, from straw up to gold.


Where there is no desire, what is there to feed upon or to perform or abandon? Thou art neither the agent nor the enjoyer. Thou art alone the quiescent personage with thy mind extinct. Again, the wise will never grieve for things past, or about things of the future; but they will perform their present Karmas duly, and be a master of them. Pride, illusion and desires are so many binding cords of the mind. Through the discriminative mind, the lower mind is power fully mastered by the wise. Having developed much discrimination, may you destroy the delusions of the heterogeneous mind through the one pointed Manas (mind), like an iron severing another iron. The intelligent cleanse a dirty cloth with the dirty earth only. A murderous Agni-astra (missile) is counteracted by Varuṇa-astra. The venom of serpent-bite is removed by its antidote, an edible poison. So also is it in the case of Jīva.



The Jīva has got three forms (or aspects). The first two are the base ones, viz., the gross and the subtle. The third is the supreme Brahman. Having gained this Brahman, may you free yourself from the first two forms. The gross body was designed for the purpose of enjoyment with hands and feet, eyes and the rest. The painful mind which is of the form of Saṁkalpa and produces the conception of Saṁsāra is the subtle mental body. The third aspect is, to all Jīvas, the Jñāna Reality which is without beginning or end or heterogeneities. Oh Rāma with lotus hands, the immaculate Turya state is above this. Being absorbed in this Turya state, may you not identify yourself with the first two forms but destroy them both altogether.”


At these words of Vāsiṣṭa, Rāghava asked the Muni: “Please describe to me in detail this Turya or Brahmic state which is higher than the three Avasthās (Jāgrat, Svapna, and Suṣupti).” To which Vasiṣṭha, with words shedding ambrosial showers, replied: “Remaining in the certitude of Ātma without desires and with an equal vision over all, having completely eradicated all conceptions of differentiations of ‘I’ or ‘he’, existence or non-existence, is Turya. That state of Jīvanmukti free from delusions, wherein there is the supreme certainty of Ātma, equal vision over all and the witness-ship to all worldly acts is Turya state. Being without the painful Saṁkalpa, it is neither the waking state nor the sleeping state. Nor is it the ordinary Suṣupti state, as there is (in Turya) the absence of the knowledge (of enjoyment). All the world becomes then absorbed in the beneficent Ātma. To ripe Jñānis, this world is itself Turya (or they can enjoy the Turya state in this state); but to the ignorant, the universe is their settled abode (or they pinion their minds to the visible things only). If after the idea of ‘I’ vanishes, the mind sees all things equally and performs all actions in such a manner that it cannot be said to perform them, then that is the Turya state to it.


Though you are the prince of men full of Jñāna, please listen, Oh intelligent Rāma, to a story that occurred in days of yore. In a spacious forest, a Tapasvin was in a state akin to that of a Maunin.1 A warlike hunter who was a veteran, in archery approached this Muni, and addressed him thus: ‘Fleeeing my arrows breathing fire, a stag ran towards this place. Will you please tell me where it fled to?’ To which the stainless Tapasvin replied thus: ‘Oh person of good qualities, we are only a band of Tapasvins, tenanting this forest, having equal vision over all. We never involve ourselves in the stainful Ahaṁkāra prompting men to worldly actions. Is it not the mind that associates itself with the actions of the organs in objects? It is long since the mind of the form of Ahaṁkāra left me truly and completely. I now know nothing of the waking, dreaming, or the sleepless dreaming states. I am now become of the Turya state. All the diverse visible things do not exist in the pure Turya state.’ The hunter without understanding the disquisitions of the Muni quitted that place.


Therefore please listen to me attentively. There is no state other than Turya; Jñāna divested of all its stainful diversities is Turya. Naught else is in this world but it. The Jāgrat state is coupled with terrible actions; the dreaming state, with becalmed actions and the dreamless sleeping state, with Ajñāna (ignorant) actions. These are the three states of consciousness to a discriminative mind. If the lower mind perishes, it becomes the Sat and the non-dual and the all-equal state. It is such a certitude of mind that the Jñānis develop and attain. In that Turya state in which the differenceless and Jīvanmuktas, the great and the transcendent Ṛṣis without any bondage, abide, may you, my son, ever live firmly without the painful Saṁkalpas and Vikalpas and free yourself from all pain.”



  1. A person observing a vow of silence. []